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eBay piracy costs sellers $100,000

Symantec claims victory in online scam

The software industry has claimed a victory against piracy after two men who sold pirate versions of Symantec products using eBay were forced to pay $100,000 (£52,000) in damages.

Litigation filed by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) on behalf of Symantec alleged that Kevin Liu and G.T. Tian sold pirate software over a period of two years, raking in $123,000 (£64,000). The retail price for the software was in excess of $750,000 (£392,000), the SIIA said.

The defendants used a variety of eBay IDs to set up over 8,000 auctions, and infringed upon the copyrights and trademarks owned by Symantec in Norton PCAnywhere, Norton SystemWorks 2005 Premier and Norton Ghost, according to the litigation.

The group said that Liu and Tian were highly organised and circumvented eBay’s users registration fraud prevention to set up dozens of different eBay identities. But Liu said he was unaware that the software he was selling was illegal.

“If I had known that SIAA was checking eBay for software piracy, and if I had known the software was pirated and that I’d have to pay such a high fine, I would never have sold the pirated software to begin with,” said Liu.


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